Eye-Tracking Communication Device
“With the precision of Tobii’s gaze interaction technology, the I‐Series gives not only voice to people who can’t speak but also a sense of control and greater independence. It gives people their lives back.”
Opening up the world of communication for a nonverbal child or adult can be a challenge, but today, technology continues to amaze.
Tobii Technology has paved the way for eye- tracking and gaze interaction technology to aid those individuals who are nonverbal and who have restricted physical ability for interaction.
The Tobii I-Series is a highly advanced assistive, augmentative piece of technology for communication designed for those who are nonverbal and have limited to no physical ability. This may include persons with:
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Spinal cord injury
The Tobii is uniquely operated by the eyes, which provide a new world of opportunity for those who are affected by these disabilities. The device functions by using “forward and rearward facing infrared cameras that are mounted on the screen”. These mounted cameras detect the movement of the cornea. This allows the user to simply glance at a picture, word, or even letter on the screen in order to activate it, functioning much like the click of a mouse. This allows the operator to spell words and even form full phrases giving them the ability to converse and express ideas.
Communication with one another, whether it be with one person or multiple people, defines every social interaction we have. Forming relationships is an essential part of society. Restrictive conditions such as those listed above can leave a person feeling isolated. The Tobii allows these people to reconnect and engage in conversation and build relationships that they were once unable to have. This divice allows a person to connect through social media sites such as facebook and even skype, providing them with the most valuable ability that most of us take for granted; two way conversation.
The Tobii is also equipped with environmental controls. This allows the user to control lights, air conditioning, door locks, water controls, telephones as well as television, creating a new realm of independence.
“Independence and inclusion is something that should occur 24/7, and we wanted to build a device that enabled users to be more social,”
Is it affordable?
The biggest factors faced by the company are the market and money. Today, there are approximately 7,500 Tobiis being used in the United States. It is estimated that the demand is higher than this number. If more Tobiis were sold, this would drive down costs.
What can you do?
This company has previously worked with private insurers and countless philanthropic charities. If we can create awareness of the need for technology such as the Tobii, then more money can be raised to provide one for a family or a child in need.
"Tobii I-Series." Smartbox Assistive Technology. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <http://www.smartboxat.com/products/tobii-i-series/>.